Subject: ON 'THREE STEPS FORWARD, TWO STEPS BACK'; OR DON'T TOUCH THE MERCHANDISE !!!
5 February 20011
Dear Colleagues and Friends of CEIMSA,
The tired old days of colonialism, boring and predictable, seem to be coming to an end. One concern of many CEIMSA readers is the worry that this might be simply an uninterrupted version of the battle between tweedledum and tweedledee. Where are the popular slogans that might serve to carry us through private monopoly control of food and other necessities, beyond capitalist manipulations and alienating hierarchies? After all, we have seen, for example, what the "free market revolution" did to Russia, where the UN reports no less than 10 million men (over and above the normal mortality rate) died of various causes in the 1990s. The "Shock Therapy" of Washington D.C.'s demigods, men like golden-boy Jeffrey Sachs, played havoc on the daily lives of ordinary people in Russia, as it did elsewhere, and still does --where local mafias, national oligarchs, and international owners of military and corporate power work in tandem to deprive(*) people of their public wealth.
Anyone who has the slightest doubt that these relationships actually exist and what their real qualities are might learn a great deal by reading Gilda O'Neill's historical fiction on the fate of Bosnian Serbs kidnaped after Nato's attack and shipped to London to "earn a living" in the western free market economy. (See Of Woman Born, 2005)
Meanwhile, we are all looking forward to learning more about Egyptian authorities' infamous industry of "data mining" and the specialized role they played in the US sponsored "extraordinary rendition" torture chambers. A grim and sordid reality is no doubt about to surface, allowing Egyptian demonstrators who are now in the streets risking their lives to present their full credentials to humanity, in the name of a better future for all of us.
Today the imperialist lackeys who still cling to the 17th century paradigm of Cartesian objectivity and Newtonian mechanical science are finding that their epistemology is lacking, that they have deceived themselves into beliving that they actually understood what they could only control and manipulate. The world, it turns out, is much more complex and they must come clean to survive the crisis they've done so much to create by giving up control and becoming one of us.
The 6 items below speak to the historic delusions that abound and have become so apparent in these weeks of massive resistance. I submit that as centers of power continue to dissolve, we will see people first seeking to identity new power centers that seem to be emerging to displace those that are failing; but, ultimately, we will experience instead a systemic change with the effect of restructuring society at all levels, producing more stable, non-hierarchical relationships, where power circulates in interrelated and overlapping networks, independent of the traditional command centers and much more effective. To be seen . . . .
Item A., from Professor Edward S. Herman, is an article on French intellectual life and it's vacuous influence on politics in America.
Item B., from Al Burke, is an Internet link to his interview on Russia Today, discussing Swedish media and their Julien Assange case against human rights.
Item C., is an update on the Likileaks disclosures from the UK Guardian.
Item D., sent to us by Professor Kamel BEN SALEM, from the Département des Sciences de l'Informatique, at the Faculté des Sciences de Tunis, is a view of Tunisia, looking from the inside, outwards.
Item E., sent to us by NYU Professor Mark Crispin Miller, providing more information on the incompatibility of Monsanto and life on earth as we know it.
Item F. is an earlier article by Professor Gabriel Kolko on "Israel's Last Chance".
And finally, we invite CEIMSA readers view the Revolution in Egypt, as it is happening in real time:
Francis McCollum Feeley
Professor of American Studies
Director of Research
Université Stendhal Grenoble 3
(*)The original Latin meaning of the word private is the pejoritive sense of to deprive.
from Edward S. Herman :
Date: 27 January 2011
Subject: The reactionary role of Bernard-Henri Levy in France and beyond.
Maybe if things continue to head south for Bernard-Henri Levy in Paris, he can relocate to Chicago, and run for mayor on the February 22 ballot? -- The very first charge in the indictment of BHL fits the frontrunner Rahm Emanuel perfectly: "His unrelenting promotion of imperialism and Zionism."
He Faces Trial January 28th, in Paris, for "Crimes Against the Intellect": Bernard-Henri Lévy Indicted!
By Tariq Ali
On January 28, activists belonging to the PIR (Parti des Indigènes de la République) are organizing a trial of Bernard-Henri Lévy in the old PCF/CGT stronghold of Saint Denis. Norman Finkelstein and myself are the only non-French who are giving evidence against BHL. The trial will commence at 6.30pm at the Bourse du Travail de St-Denis. 9-11 rue Génin, Saint Denis. Metro 13 - Porte de Paris.
More of my views on Bernard-Henri Lévy may be found below, but first, the Indictment:
“Order for the indictment of Bernard-Henri Lévy before the Assize Court, and for his arrest:
We have determined that whereas investigation has established the following facts concerning the accused:
- His unrelenting promotion of imperialism and Zionism,
- His intellectual fakery, symptom of philosophical nullity amid the accumulation of capital and power,
- His leveling of false accusations and calumnies against Iran,
- His warmongering and advocacy of “humanitarian imperialism,”
- His aiding in the creation and promotion of SOS Racisme to smother autonomous immigration movements,
- His dissemination of false news likely to sow social and religious discord between Christians and Muslims.
For these reasons, we rule that there is sufficient evidence against Bernard-Henri Lévy that he committed such acts, punishable under the Criminal Code, in regard to Articles 175, 176, 181, 183 and 184. We order the indictment of Bernard-Henri Lévy, to be lodged at the Court of Assizes of the department of Seine- Saint-Denis to be tried according to law.” Executed in Chambers, December 18, 2010.”
I’ve always regarded BHL as a comic figure. On the two occasions -- in Berlin and New York-- that I’ve shared a platform to debate him he reminded me of a puffed up peacock in heat (hence, I thought, the permanently unbuttoned shirt). In France, however, more than a few citizens find him more sinister than comic. He is the Republic’s most visible and most vain mediatic intellectual. A veritable Tintin no less. Ready for adventures whenever he’s needed to strike a pose. Kabul falls to NATO. Off goes Tintin and returns to inform us that in order to help the Afghans he has launched a new magazine in Kabul. Its name? Nouvelle Kabul. Of course. How could it be anything else. This was in 2002, but every Afghan I’ve asked swears on the Koran that no such magazine exists, not even in Kabul’s fortified green zone. Was it pure fantasy? Possible. The dividing line between reality and non-reality is never clear when Tintin is involved. I got a strong whiff of this when I reviewed his appalling book on the Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl that was largely fantastical. I wrote at the time:
“He has written a strange hybrid of a book about his adventures in Pakistan, a country whose language he doesn’t speak and whose people he seems to hate, despite the last-page invocation of a ‘gentle Islam’, firmly placed in the medieval period and counterposed to the ‘madmen of Peshawar’... Half fiction, a quarter speculation, one-eighth film script (with BHL as himself?) and one-eighth regurgitated newspaper articles, this book gives narcissism a bad name. Is there anything of value in it? I searched in vain, hoping that his ‘diplomatic connections’ might have helped out with some previously unknown facts. Nothing. Given the absence of real content, style becomes all; and it is pure pastiche. At times, ‘my dear Sartre’ is invoked for no apparent reason, except to make it clear that Lévy is the only true heir. At another point, he is reminded of his old tutor at the Ecole Normale:
‘Latent homosexuality. Or, if not, perhaps no sexuality at all, pleasure is a sin, the purpose of relations with a woman is to procreate. Omar [Pearl’s assassin] . . . has probably never slept with a woman . . . he is a 29-year-old virgin. Is this the key to the psychology of Omar? . . . Asexuality, and the will to purity that goes with it, as possible sources of the moral standards of the religion of fundamentalist crime? . . . But I remember, I cannot help but remember, a great French philosopher, Louis Althusser, still a virgin at 30 and who . . . No. Out of bounds, precisely. Because truly blasphemous. And too flattering to Omar.’"
There is nobody quite like him in the States or elsewhere in Europe. Hitchens, in healthier times, could have come close to this status had he been provided a regular column in the NYT and a book show on one of the networks. CH would have had many an advantage, since unlike BHL he can both write and read, though ill-health, sadly, has meant a confused imagination such as detecting a ‘moral core’ in Tony Blair and flattering Ben Ali, the toppled despot of Tunis.
His dominant media position makes BHL a powerful enemy of the Left, of the kids in the banlieues, of anyone who dares question Israel’s moral superiority to everyone else, but especially its victims. He supports most of US policies abroad. Unsurprisingly he arouses a great deal of anger, hatred and contempt.
On January 28, activists belonging to the PIR (Parti des Indigènes de la République) are organizing a mock trial in the old PCF/CGT stronghold of Saint Denis. Norman Finkelstein and myself are the only non-French who are giving evidence against BHL. It should be good fun. Nobody is quite sure whether Tintin will be in Paris or entertaining the King in his huge villa in Morocco … he should beware the Maghreb now. The times they are a-changing.
Tariq Ali’s latest book “The Obama Syndrome: Surrender at Home, War Abroad’ was published by Verso last fall.
from Al Burke :
Date: 3 February 2011
Subject: Interview on Russia Today.
Interview on Russia Today
Russia Today, a sort of Russian Al-Jazeera with a rather large international audience, has just published a 10-minute video interview with me that deals primarily with Sweden and its relation to the Assange case, NATO, the European Union and the U.S.
Note: At the moment, the "Download" function on that page yields a file in which the audio track is partly missing and mainly out of sync.
from UK Guardian :
Date: 5 February 2011
Subject: Wikileaks update.
from Kamel BEN SALEM :
Date: 6 February 2011
Subject: A look from inside Tunis.
Ci-dessous une brève analyse des évènements qui ont survenu en tunisie.
Je vous souhaite une bonne lecture.
Kamel BEN SALEM
Professeur d'Analyse des Données
Département des Sciences de l'Informatique
Faculté des Sciences de Tunis
Les habitants du monde arabe suivent avec grand intérêt et enthousiasme les événements historiques qui ont lieu en Tunisie. Ils s'interrogent sur l'avenir des gouvernements de la région, après le renversement du président Zine El-Abidine Ben Ali en raison de l'injustice politique et sociale qu'il a fait régner pendant plus de vingt ans. Cette révolution met en évidence non seulement le rôle crucial des nouvelles technologies pour mobiliser les peuples, mais aussi le rôle répugnant de l'Occident, qui apporte un soutien inconditionnel à la perpétuation de dictatures moyenâgeuses.
Malgré le manque de libertés, l'injustice sociale, les niveaux insupportables de corruption et l'Etat policier, l'Occident n'a cessé de défendre ces régimes. Jusqu'à ce que Ben Ali soit renversé, l'Occident le considérait comme un "élève exemplaire". Le président français Nicolas Sarkozy a même déclaré en 2008 que la Tunisie vivait en démocratie. Pendant tout le mois qu'a duré le mouvement de protestation, les gouvernements occidentaux, ont gardé un silence suspect - la chef de la diplomatie française, Michèle Alliot-Marie, a même proposé de conseiller le gouvernement tunisien sur la façon de mettre fin aux manifestations. Une telle attitude met en évidence le deux poids deux mesures de l'Occident quand il s'agit d'exiger la démocratisation de certains pays.
D'un côté, les Etats Unis et l'Union européenne, La France en tête, fait pression sur les présidents ivoirien, soudanais et iranien, et de l'autre elle garde un silence plus que suspect sur ce qui se passe dans le monde arabe, et surtout au Maghreb. Si l'Occident a joué un rôle crucial dans la démocratisation des pays de l'Europe de l'Est, elle fait tout le contraire avec les pays arabes. Non seulement elle soutient les régimes dictatoriaux, mais elle les aide à piller les richesses nationales en leur permettant d'ouvrir des comptes où ils peuvent déposer leur butin et d'acquérir des biens immobiliers et des actions de grandes entreprises européennes. Avec un tel comportement, l'Occident se rend complice par excellence de ces crimes. L'Europe offre également depuis plusieurs années, un autre cadeau à ces dictateurs en refusant d'accorder l'asile politique à ceux qui fuient ces régimes sanglants.
Pis, l'Occident ne cesse de répéter qu'il lutte contre les mouvements islamistes et les terroristes, mais les études sociologiques montrent que le fanatisme découle directement de l'injustice sociale et de la corruption de ces régimes dictatoriaux. Malgré cela, l'Occident ferme les yeux sur cette réalité et sur ces faits et se lie avec les dictatures. Le silence des pays occidentaux envers le régime égyptien actuel en est le meilleur exemple.
From Mark Crispin Miller :
Date: 6 February 2011
Subject: More on Monsanto.